Banipal 45: Writers from Palestine

Banipal 45, available shortly, promises to bring a number of new Palestinian voices into English:

In his introduction to the issue — which will be available shortly — Whiting-award-winning novelist and playwright Anton Shammas writes that “you may be missing some more familiar and more established names [in Palestinian literature],” presumably writers of international standing like Mahmoud Darwish, Ghassan Kanafani, Jabra Ibrahim Jabra. However, Shammas continues, “the main drive behind this Palestinian initiative was to open up the English gates for some new waves, some new and young and uncompromising voices from all regions of Palestine (totally ignoring what is euphemistically referred to as the Green Line).”

Anton Shammas in a hat. Photo Nadeem Shammas. Courtesy Banipal.

Shammas says that the writing within fears no sacred cows, is captive of no nationalist ideology, that it is both “targeted against the dark forces that made the Palestinians bereft of time and place, as well as against the borrowed time and place inside which the failed leadership, Palestinian and otherwise, has confined them since the infamous Oslo accords.”

Shammas calls it “writing on the move,” and adds that it attempts “to make literary sense of an illusive and condemned world, granting local validity to a consciousness that, for too many generations, has been lacking a solid Palestinian locale.”

Available soon online and elsewhere. You can also get the digital edition, which in many ways isn’t as nice as paper (what is?) but this way you don’t lose them, which is good. Plus, they’re searchable. I see issues 34-44 are all now available digitally.